Bactrian Camels: Double Hump Furry Camels With A Smiling Face

I always found cats to be one of the cutest species on this planet until I bumped into Bactrian Camels.  It was a complete shift of thoughts. I fell in love with their mischievous and SMILING (to be noted) face. Honestly, it was only after I touched the white sands of Hundar in Ladakh that I got introduced to these beauties. Travelling the world does educate you, more than your school, college or your teachers ever can! So here is a little about these “most interesting and smiling” Bactrian camel species.

  Big Eye Lashes

Big Eye Lashes

Quick Facts About Bactrian Camels

  • Have a double hump where they store fat
  • Primarily Herbivorous and can digest almost any kind of vegetation including thorns and bitter plants
  • During scarcity of vegetation, they can feed on carcasses, bones, and even tents
  • Tend to eat snow to keep their water level from depleting
  • Have big eye lashes as an adaptation to keep the sand dust away
  • Can live for upto 50 years
  • Can live without water for months together
  • When they drink water, they can drink 57 litres at once

What Are Bactrian Camels Like?

  Camels with a Smiling Face

Bactrian Camels are a native to Central Asia, and have a large built, with furs and a double hump. They don’t look anything similar to a regular one hump camel in the first look. Mostly found on the high altitudes and sand dunes, these camels have an exceptionally high tolerance to cold, draught, and high altitudes.

Historically, they helped and served as a transportation to the Caravans on the Silk Route. Once major feature that caught me completely was their face. They have a long and kind of a triangular face, with a split upper lip that makes them look as though they are smiling. Adding to their beauty are the long eye lashes, which is basically an adaptation to keep the dust away, during sand storms.

Why Do They Have A Double Hump?

I used to think that Bactrian Camels have one hump to store fat and one to store water. But, this is obviously not true. These beautiful camels store fat in both the humps. When they are well fed, their humps are lumpy and fat. As the time passes and they don’t get sufficient resources, their humps start loosing the fat and they droop down. The humps store fat, to provide the Bactrian camels with energy and water when the body demands.

They gulp the food, and store it in the stomach part. Later they shift it to the mouth and keep chewing

Types Of Bactrian Camels

There are majorly two types of Bactrian Camels, wild and domesticated. Wild Bactrian Camels are very rare to find and have a difference in their genetic code than the domesticated ones. Mostly you will find domesticated ones.

In Ladakh, 

they were the domesticated Bactrian camels.

Difference Between Regular And Bactrian Camels

Regular Camels

  • They have a double hump while the regular ones don’t
  • They have fur, the regular ones don’t
  • They are comparatively short heighted than the regular ones
  • They know how to swim and they eat snow while the regular one hump camels don’t

Where To Spot Bactrian Camels?

Wild species of these Camels are very limited in number, may be 1400 or so. They can be found in the Gobi desert in China and in some parts of Mongolia, Russia, and Australia. In India, you can find the domesticated Bactrian Camels in Hundar. They also organise a special Bactrian Camel ride that takes you through the white sand dunes of Hundar for around half an hour.

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